Nokian ties up with Enviro/Antin for sustainable rCB

Nokian TyresTyre maker Nokian Tyres says it has made a long-term purchase agreement with a tyre recycling joint venture, namely Antin Infrastructure Partners and Scandinavian Enviro Systems, for sustainable material. The agreement will help Nokian Tyres reach one of its key sustainability targets, which is to increase the share of recycled and renewable raw materials in tyres to 50% by 2030.

Nokian Tyres started to use recovered carbon black in a commercial product line in 2022. The recent long-term purchase agreement enables its increased utilisation in tyres accelerating circularity and sustainability in the tyre industry.

The joint venture plans to establish end-of-life tyres recycling plants across Europe, with a total capacity to recycle up to 1 million tonnes of ELTs/year by 2030. The first plant, located in Sweden, is expected to be fully operational by 2025. The deliveries for Nokian Tyres will begin in 2026.

Carbon black is used as a reinforcing filler in tyres to enhance their physical properties, such as strength. As virgin carbon blacks are fossil-based, replacing them partly with recovered carbon black decreases the environmental burden of tyres’ raw materials. It also accelerates the circular economy of the tire industry, as the recovered carbon black is made with pyrolysis from ELTs.

“The use of recovered carbon black has several sustainability-related benefits. It reduces the use of virgin raw materials and increases the share of recycled ones. The emissions from manufacturing recovered carbon black are over 90% lower than those from virgin carbon blacks. On a larger scale, use of recovered carbon black also increases circularity and sustainability in the tyre industry,” says Juha Hietalahti, VP, Procurement at Nokian Tyres.

“When introducing new raw materials in tyres, one of the most demanding tasks is to find the right balance between raw material selection and tyre properties, as the use of recycled or renewable materials must not impair a tyre’s safety characteristics. The recovered carbon black that we will receive with this agreement is an important step in creating even more sustainable premium tyres that provide safety in all driving conditions,” Hietalahti says.